Reporting Steve Murphy
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Six drownings occurred in Minnesota over the weekend, underscoring an already tragic summer on the waters.
“It’s almost been, at least during July, it’s been a perfect storm of water accidents”, said Tim Smalley, water safety expert for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
He said the extended periods of hot weather have been a major factor. The death toll is up for swimming and boating accidents.
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“We have 12 boating fatalities right now; that’s compared to two last year at this time,” Smalley said.
He said Minnesota also had “27 non-boating related drownings compared to 18 last year at this time. So, definitely some bad things are happening.”
Smalley said there’s a pattern to many of the drownings every summer: overestimating one’s ability to swim distances, failure to wear life jackets and alcohol.